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Attorney General Frey files Civil Rights Action in Cumberland, Oxford Counties

Attorney General Aaron Frey has filed two civil complaints against two men for separate events, one in July and one in Paris
Credit: NEWS CENTER Maine
Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey

AUGUSTA, Maine — Attorney General Aaron Frey announced Friday that he has filed two civil complaints under the Maine Civil Rights Act in Cumberland County Superior Court against two Maine men. 

The first complaint is against Michael Roylos, 63, of Portland, for using and threatening violence against a 38-year-old lesbian woman in Portland, Maine on July 3. The complaint requests the court to order that Roylos have no contact with the victim or her family and commit no future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act.

According to the State’s complaint, on July 3, the victim was pulling into the parking lot at Shaw’s Supermarket at the Northgate Shopping Center in Portland. Roylos, who was walking to his car, accused the victim of driving too fast in the parking lot. He then called her an “[expletive] [homophobic slur].” The victim replied, “Excuse me?” Roylos responded, “You heard me you [expletive] [homophobic slur].”

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When the victim attempted to record Roylos with her cell phone, he physically assaulted her. As he assaulted the victim, Roylos continued to call her a “[homophobic slur].” The victim was able to extricate herself from Roylos’s grasp and run towards a vehicle with a female driver in it, where bystanders came to her aid. Roylos’s threats and assault have cause the victim to fear for her safety.

“It is appalling and egregious that any person would engage in violence or threats of violence based on homophobia. My office will not tolerate bias-motivated violence or threats of violence against members of the LBGTQ community,” Attorney General Frey stated. 

The second complaint is against Tyler Tripp, 22, of Paris, for threatening violence against a 20-year-old Black woman in Norway, Maine on June 27. The complaint requests the court to order the same no-contact rule for Tripp and his family. 

According to the State’s complaint, on June 27, the victim was walking with a friend along Deering Street in Norway. A car drove up to the victim and her friend at a high rate of speed and the victim yelled at the car to slow down. Tripp exited the car and called the victim a racial epithet. He then threatened to hang her from a tree. He went on to say that she “deserved” to be hanged due to her race (again, using a racial epithet). Tripp later admitted to a Norway Police Officer that he had in fact made the threat.

"Racist threats of violence have no place in Maine. No person should be threatened with violence due to the color of that person’s skin. Defendant’s use of the imagery of lynching is even more abhorrent in a civil society. I will use my authority under the Civil Rights Act to stop threats of violence before they escalate into physical harm,” Attorney General Frey stated.

The Maine Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1992 and prohibits the use of violence, the threat of violence or property damage against any person motivated by that person’s race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Any violation of an injunctive order under the act is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.